blinddrew wrote:And here we disagree. Pick a dictionary, or a legal statute, and you will find the definition of theft to be something that talks about permanently depriving the legitimate owner of the their property.
Copyright infringement does not meet this description.
What in heaven you mean, "it doesn't deprive the legitimate owner etc"? :) If you have the copy right, you have the right of making copies of a work (for which you have presumably put down some investment). These copies can get for example sold, which brings you a direct economic benefit, or used in a way to bring you other types of benefit (credit, popularity, anything really that you can think of as a benefit) . If someone else makes these copies and sells them or otherwise claims them as his, these benefits will not, in part or total, get to you, but to them. Hence you are very much deprived - and quite permanently too because either the money or the other benefits ain't gonna get back to you anytime soon.
I am pretty certain you understand the logic. :D To deny it comes out as a little constructed and captious (unless you want to remove the entire concept of private property, and then we're talking!).
And I really don't see the point, because given that logic, the issues are a bit more downstream:
- are there certain circumstances in which the balance between such deprivation and the greater good is such that the greater good wins? Yes!
- is it sometimes difficult to define if something is a copy of something else? For sure!
- are there people which produce work but are completely disinterested in any benefit, economic or otherwise, which may come from it? Most likely!
- were there times (to say it with Still) where such damages were far less recognized? You bet.
Like any kind of property right, the copy right is not an absolute right (and thank goodness for that), but it's a pretty strong principle in our society. I have zero problems with someone who is starving and steals a piece of bread from someone who has more than he needs.. but I don't need to deny that theft it is.
This thread is about sampling. You don't see Hugh Jackman/Jean Valjean sing that he stole five seconds of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" - at least I haven't seen that movie :)